Judges cautious about signing warrants for motorists

Judges have been cautious in signing warrants for motorists with outstanding traffic tickets due to deficiencies in the traffic ticketing system. 

Senior Court Statistician, Dr Denarto Dennis, says the system is ill-equipped to serve the needs of  the courts from a reporting and case tracking perspective.

According to Dennis, at present, the system does not track the status of  a case from initiation to disposal. 

He revealed that there are several cases where warrants have been issued for persons who have paid traffic tickets.

“Aside from the fact that this is primarily a police system, there have been deficits in the accuracy with which updates are made in the system and transmitted to the courts. Such acts has resulted in judges exercising due caution in issuing warrants ….. as there have been a number of instances in which persons with warrants show up in court with proof that they have paid for their tickets. As a result, the judges are cautious in issuing warrants,” said Dennis who was speaking during yesterday's meeting of  Parliament's Public Administration and Appropriations Committee (PAAC).                                              

Meanwhile, Permanent Secretary in the Justice Ministry, Carol Palmer, says there have been instances where the government had to refund persons who double paid traffic tickets.

“We have cases out of our sister CARICOM country of Trinidad and Tobago where citizens have taken the court to court and have gotten significant judgements for having detained them, incarcerated them and then to find when they turned up in court that they had already paid the tickets , and we have had instances of that in the Ministry of Justice where we have had to be paying the second payment …and then we have to recover the money from our financial institutions and pay it back,” she said.  

TAJ seeks to reconcile records. 

Tax Administration Jamaica  (TAJ), is seeking to reconcile its records amid a revelation that tens of  thousands of  traffic tickets which have been paid are not being reflected as settled on its system.

The revelation was made by Permanent Secretary in the National Security Ministry, Dianne McIntosh, during yesterday's sitting of  the PAAC.

She stated that the records show that there are 309,608 outstanding traffic tickets for the period November 2010 up to the end of  last year. 

Those tickets total more than $641 million. however,  242,000 represented what she called failed payments

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